Those are the conservative estimates of the number of men and women who will be sexually abused at some point in their lifetimes. Rid of My Disgrace by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb is the definitive book for those who have suffered sexual abuse. The Holcombs bring a wealth of training, research and experience to this issue. Dr. Justin Holcomb is a pastor at Mars Hill Church (Seattle) and his wife Lindsey is a deacon at Mars Hill, where she counsels victims of sexual assault and trains leaders to care for them. When Justin was 12, he was assaulted by a member of his extended family. Lindsey has also worked at a domestic violence shelter. Both of them have counseled many who have suffered from the atrocity of sexual violence.

Rid of My Disgrace is extremely well-researched, guided by the wisdom that only Scripture can bring, and absolutely saturated with the gospel. I love the way the Holcombs have organized the book. Part 1: Disgrace supplies us with an excellent definition of sexual assault and a thorough description of its effects. Part 2: Grace Applied is the bulk of the book and walks the reader through a careful examination of how grace can and must be applied to the most prevalent effects of sexual abuse: denial, shame, distorted images of self and God, guilt, anger and despair. And each of these chapters is introduced with a story of how someone got rid of their disgrace by the power of the gospel. Part 3: Grace Accomplished is an excellent biblical and theological study on sin, sexual assault, and redemption.

I love this book. And, even though I don’t know them, I love the Holcombs for making the personal and professional sacrifices it took to write it. If you have been abused, you need to get this book because it contains the hope of the gospel for you. If you love someone who has been the victim of sexual violence, you need to read it to understand how best to love and care for them. And if you counsel or pastor those who have been sexually abused, this is a book you need to read, understand and apply to your practice.

[Disclosure of Material Connection: Crossway sent me a free review copy of this book. I was not asked to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”]

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